Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blog Tour: Review, Playlist, Giveawy: Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino

Mia Kelly is a twenty-five-year-old walking Gap ad who thinks she has life figured out when her father’s sudden death uproots her from slow-paced Ann Arbor to New York City’s bustling East Village. There she discovers her father’s spirit for life and the legacy he left behind with the help of an old café, a few eccentric friends, and one charming musician.

Will Ryan is good-looking, poetic, spontaneous, and on the brink of fame when he meets Mia, his new landlord, muse, and personal heartbreaker.

A story of self-discovery and friendship, Sweet Thing shines light on the power of loving and letting go.

Wow. There is so much to say about this book. Initially I had a hard time getting in to it. It was interesting, but I was just at a point where I was struggling to get in to stories. We’ve all been there. But I’m glad I kept going. There was just so much to this book!
Mia’s character frustrated the crap out of me quite often. I wanted to shake her and tell her to just open her eyes. But, I understand why she was that way. She’d been through a lot in her life, especially the most recent times. She was just confused and you just have to love her through it.
Will. Bah. That guy. He sounds totally dreamy and amazing. But, there were times I wanted to shake him, too. I wanted him to just come out and say whatever it was he needed to say instead of just stopping. However, in true Will fashion, there was a reason behind his way of doing things. It made sense in the end.
The writing throughout the book is flawless. It flows perfectly and captivates your interest. It is conversational as well as reflective, but certainly not cheesy. This was a fabulous read and I cannot WAIT to read more by Ms Carlino!


Sweet Thing was inspired almost entirely by my love for music and the music scene.  There are so many famous songs not only referenced in my book but performed by the characters as a tribute to those artists and further proof of my obsession.  Sweet Thing follows the trials and tribulations of two twenty-something musicians, Mia and Will, who fall in love over the course of a year and find that their shared musical appreciation and talent is the ultimate catalyst in their relationship.

I thought I would list a few songs referenced or performed from the book and then list a few that I just listened to while I was writing it.  Many times a song would evoke an emotion in me, which aided in making a scene more dramatic, powerful or sweet.

“Ask” by The Smiths

There is just something inherently happy about this song and when Will sings a couple of lines to Mia, it speaks volumes.

“Yellow Ledbetter” by Pearl Jam

This is an old favorite of mine that Will performs at Kell’s Café.  Even though he doesn’t sing the words until the very end, I just had to have him play that smooth, sexy guitar solo.

“Pictures of You” The Cure

This song has stuck with me for many, many years.  There is this building up feeling with the guitars in the beginning; it’s like a really delicate crescendo before Robert Smith starts singing.  Will plays this in the apartment, just goofing around with the song, when Mia surprises him and discovers how truly talented he is.  I always thought of Will singing these lyrics to her because I think the lyrics are powerful and romantic. I chose a live version because they jam a bit longer in the intro and I love that.

“Wash”(iTunes Session) by Bon Iver
and a stem remix called “We Washed Texas” by St. South

THIS IS THE SONG.  This song wrote half the scenes in my book.  I’m putting two versions because of how much I love it. The emotion in the original version and again that building up, the crescendo that helped me to build the drama in a scene is what I love about it.  I would get completely emotional listening to this.  When Mia asks Will to make her feel better in chapter (Track) 17, this was the song I was listening to when I wrote it. The second version I just recently started listening to while writing two new scenes from Will’s point of view.  It’s a much softer and sort of melancholy version.

“Cheer Darlin’” by Damien Rice

This is such a sexy, bluesy, sad song.  I didn’t reference it in Sweet Thing, but I felt like Will was singing this to Mia for much of the book while she strung him a long and especially when he walks in to find her with Robert.

“Hole in the Ocean Floor” by Andrew Bird

I listened to this many times, especially while Mia was in Memphis.  It helped me to visualize the scene.  I like the fragility in it.  It’s one of those songs where you need to be quiet and just listen to fully appreciate it.  This extremely talented artist inspired some of Will’s gifts.

About the Author

Renee’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies staring Molly Ringwald for that. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

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